[aprssig] APRS for JOTA, Everywhere!

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Fri Oct 19 12:54:33 EDT 2012

> If you use a tactical callsign with CQSRVR, you
> will get no information from CQSRVR so you have
> confirmation that CQSRVR is not accepting your tactical callsign.

That is poor communication design in a non-guaranteed delivery system such
as APRS.

In APRS, getting no response can mean any of dozens of things gone wrong.
Antenna, power, freq, receiver, cable, path, trees, etc (oh, and that you
may have used a tactical call to CQSRVR and it failed).  It is unhelpful
to the users in the field to force them through all this troubleshooting
angst simply because CQSRVR failed to act on the message and then did not
give the guy a helpful hint as to why.

If a system is failing to deliver an APRS message (CQ to all others in a
group) because of that systems own self-imposed restrictions, then such a
system should inform the attempting station of the cause of that failure.

There is nothing in ham radio that DENIES service to someone using a
tactical callsign except CQSRVR.  This seems to violate the principal of
least astonishment.

> Making contacts using non-unique tactical callsigns
> for JOTA are worthless...

But it should not be your responsibility to pre-conceive how everyone in
APRS might use their station in an events.  You cannot possibly pre-assume
how every operator on the Planet might want to use such a valuable tool as
CQSRVR to call CQ to a group.

> if you want to do that, use ANSRVR.
> If you want to call CQ to amateur radio stations
> using your amateur radio callsign, use CQSRVR.

And why-oh-why do we have to educate 40,000 users out there in the real
world just-tyring-to-communicate to have to remember such trivial

A station on APRS should be able to all CQ independent of whether he is
using a tactical or his actual call.

Just seems to me to be an artificial road-bump which will trip people
up...  We have enough problems communicating as it is.  Why do we need
this additional trip hazard?

Bob, Wb4APR

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Bruninga
> Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 9:24 AM
> You are correct that all HF JOTA stations will definately only use their
> callsigns, but the APRS Tactical Operators at the same site using APRS
for a
> back-channel ham radio scout APRS demonstration from the scout sites may
> not.  Some might use tactical calls for their council so that they stand
out on
> the map as actual JOTA stations and SCOUT demos instead of just the
> SEA-OF-APRS callsigns on the map.  We just don't know...
> some always will, and we should not fail them in their attempt to
> communicate.
> Our APRS call this weekend might be 4RVRS for our 4 Rivers District.
> The last few times we used CQSRVR for general national events, we failed
> because any station using a tactical call got nothing... and we did not
> why until after the event.  The risk of failure or confusion using a
> exclusive system (CQSRVR) on APRS where tactical calls are used quite
> frequently is just too high and too confusing.
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